April 05 2024 0Comment

A Tale of Two Sprinkler Heads: Quick Response vs. Standard Response

Article by Dale Grant – Marketing Coordinator

In 1996, NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems began to require quick response fire sprinkler heads in all new systems installed in light-hazard areas. As a result, most new construction office buildings, restaurants and schools now utilize quick response sprinkler heads over the more traditional standard response.

What exactly is the difference?

The biggest difference is going to lie in the thermal sensitivity as well as the mission of each sprinkler.

Fire sprinklers, for those not in the know, all operate in more or less the same capacity. The water is held at bay by a small glass bulb filled with pressurized liquid. As the temperature increases, the liquid within that bulb is heated, causing the pressure within the bulb to increase. Once the pressure hits its maximum, the glass bulb will explode and thus activating the sprinkler head.

With a slightly thicker bulb, a standard response sprinkler head will take just a little bit longer to activate. In addition, these sprinklers disperse water in a slightly different manner. A standard response sprinkler works to wet and cool the areas surrounding a fire, thus taking away a fire’s fuel source and slowing down the spread of flames.

A quick response sprinkler, with its thinner bulb is designed to respond faster than its standard counterpart. These sprinkler heads also disperse their water higher up with the mission to cool the ceiling and surrounding walls. The idea behind this being that by cooling those areas will contain the fire and prevent flashover, thus allowing occupants more time to evacuate the building.

So, what is the right choice for your project?

According to most guidelines, quick response sprinklers are going to be best utilized in highly populated areas such as office space, schools, restaurants, etc. Standard response sprinklers, on the other hand, are better employed in industrial and commercial applications.

Fortunately, Oliver Fire Protection and Security will take a lot of guesswork out of this for you. Our team of highly specialized designers will work closely with you to create the ideal sprinkler system for your project!

Dale Grant